By Swami Harshananda
purnāhuti (‘[the final] offering which completes [the sacrifice]’)
In Vedic sacrifices the word means offering a ladle-full of ghee into the fire. The final offering is made by the priest, in the standing posture. This is then followed by the yajamāna or sacrificer giving gifts to the priests.
In many other homas, performed according to the āgamas and the tantras, purṇāhuti represents the final offering (with appropriate mantras) indicating the completion of the rite. In such āhutis, the materials used are cloth, coconut, flowers, tāmbula (arecanuts and betel leaves), all of them being soaked in ghee.
- The Concise Encyclopedia of Hinduism, Swami Harshananda, Ram Krishna Math, Bangalore